The brother of Pakistan’s social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has been arrested in Punjab province for strangulating to death the 26-year-old model for “dishonouring” the family’s reputation, the latest case of honour killings that plague the country. Waseem is said to have been arrested from the city of Dera Gazi Khan in central Pakistan late on Saturday night, and has confessed to killing his sister. He has also apparently described the killing to the police during interrogation.
Qandeel, a model and actress, was said to be preparing for an appearance on the 10th season of reality TV show Bigg Boss, hosted by Salman Khan. She had even posted about her Bigg Boss 10 stint on her Facebook page on Friday, merely hours before she is said to have been killed at her house in Karamabad in the Multan province in the early hours of Saturday morning. She was 26 at the time of her death.
Although initial reports suggested she was shot to death by her brother, Waseem was quoted by the Dawn as saying in a press conference that he first drugged her and then strangled her. “She wasn’t aware I was killing her,” he was quoted as saying. “I gave her a tablet and then strangled her.”
He said he had killed her because “she had brought dishonour to the Baloch name” with the bold and often racy photos and videos she used to put out on social media. Police officer Azhar Akram was quoted by the report as saying that Waseem had killed Qandeel whose real name was Fauzia Azeem by covering her airways till she stopped breathing. “After that he fled to Dera Ghazi Khan with two of his friends. We are working on catching the friends and I expect they will also be caught soon. After speaking to them, we will be able to determine whether they were involved or not,” he added.